Big League Stew

PNC Park security guard loses finger in struggle with fan during Pirates game

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(AP)

A little over a year after city police tased an out-of-control fan during a Pittsburgh Pirates game, another violent arrest occurred at PNC Park. Security didn't break out the Tasers this time, but they probably could have.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a PNC Park security supervisor lost a finger and a police officer injured his shoulder Saturday trying to subdue three raging fans, including a 21-year-old woman. Rachel George and her 50-year-old father, Christopher George, face charges that include aggravated assault, conspiracy, harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. A criminal complaint filed by Detective Frank Rende states that "tensions flared" after Ms. George was taken to the security office because she was smoking at her seat.

As Pirates security supervisor Joseph Risher was escorting her out of the right field gate, Ms. George's unidentified boyfriend assaulted him and ran off. Ms. George jumped on the guard's back and started to pull him backward, the complaint says.

Her father joined in the attack, pushing him up against a fence.

"While defending himself, Mr. Risher got his left hand caught on the fence, and when he was pulled by both (defendants) his left middle finger was ripped off at the second knuckle and was hanging by a piece of skin," Detective Rende wrote in the complaint.

Mr. Risher, he added, was screaming in pain.

Ow, ow, ow. But the fight wasn't over.

Sergeant Sean Duffy later injured his shoulder and was sent to a hospital for treatment after Ms. George kicked him, it is alleged, and he responded with a palm strike. All of this is alleged, of course. We don't have the Georges' side of the story — whatever that might be — only the word of some injured public servants. But let's go on the assumption that the substance of what is alleged is true. Why do these people have to come to baseball games? They're angry, they probably can't hold their alcohol and that's the worst possible combination in a fan. The security guard, Mr. Risher, isn't going to have a fully functioning hand as a result. And the Georges might be looking at jail time. They should be, anyway. For what? A cigarette? An aversion to authority? Fans like this ruin reputations for entire groups. Sometimes, they do worse. It's not a new concept, but society obviously needs to be reminded.

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